Indigo Bunting

(Passerina cyanea)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

Indigo Bunting

NatureServe

N5B - Secure Breeding

SNRB - Unranked Breeding

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Uncommon to common migrant, uncommon to locally common breeder

Habitat

Deciduous forests, woodland edges, shrubby fields, orchards.

Size

5½ in length

8 wingspan

 

Identification

 

 
Voice

 

 
Similar
Species

 


Food

 

 
Nesting

 

 
Migration

May to early June and late July to mid-October


Comments

 

 
Phenology

May 11, 2012 – First sighting of the year at backyard feeder, Lakeville, MN.

5/12/2014 – Two at backyard feeder, Lakeville, MN.

5/19 - 5/20/2014 – One at backyard feeder, Lakeville, MN.


Taxonomy

Order:

Passeriformes (perching birds)

 

Family:

Cardinalidae (cardinal, grosbeaks, and relatives)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Bill Reynolds


  Indigo Bunting    

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
  Indigo Bunting   Indigo Bunting
       
       

 

Camera

 

     

Slideshows

   
  Indigo Bunting
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Indigo Bunting  
     
  Indigo Bunting
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Indigo Bunting  
     
  Indigo Bunting
Craig A. Mullenbach
 
  Indigo Bunting  

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  Indigo Bunting
The Music of Nature
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 29, 2010

This sweet little video celebrates the Indigo Bunting and its song. It features footage I obtained from Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. Look carefully at the second clip in the sequence—you can see the bird's breath condensing when he sings!

The strident, high-pitched, lively song of the male is usually made up of a series of doubled phrases: "sweet, sweet, chew, chew, see-it, see-it".

The Indigo Bunting gets its name from it's beautiful indigo blue color. Although quite common in shrubby clearings over much of the East, this species is not well known to the general public and is often confused with the Eastern Bluebird (there are only a handful of North American birds that are primarily blue in coloration).

© 2010 Lang Elliott
musicofnature.org

 
     
  Indigo Bunting Singing.MOV
mj197012
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 2, 2010

Indigo Bunting singing on June 2, 2010 in West Salem Wisconsin. Video captured with a Canon 7D camera.

 
     
  Indigo Bunting
Birdzilla.com
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 21, 2011

Meet the Indigo Bunting through images and video

 
     
  Indigo Bunting
thepacerspecial
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 15, 2008

070307

 
     
  Indigo Bunting - Full Year Animation
eBird
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 10, 2013

Brilliant azure male Indigo Buntings sing conspicuously from high perches, telephone lines, and wood edges. Females are drab and unobstrusive, as are winter-plumaged birds and immatures, which can form sizeable flocks in the fall in areas with abundant grain.

This habitat shift--from scrublands, wood edges, and forest clearings to grasslands, agricultural areas, and weedy patches--is something that is understood by the STEM models. Please keep in mind that the data that underlie the pretty animated maps are in fact much richer and reveal many additional bits of information about seasonal habitat preferences. When we plot the monthly relative importance of deciduous forest to the predictions in these models, we find that it becomes much less important from August to October, which is a time that Indigos are leaving their Breeding areas and foraging in fields. In the future, we hope to be able to provide more of this data as well.

Some of the fall habitat shift can be seen in the animation. The lower Mississippi River valley is a broad swath of agriculture, especially in northeastern Louisiana. A common pattern on these maps is to see that area show up as bright (e.g., Horned Lark) or dark (e.g., Brown-headed Nuthatch, Wood Thrush). The reason for this is the broad, landscape scale habitat that dominates here (agriculture) and the comparatively tiny amount of forest in tis area, as compared to all the areas around it. Of course, the lack of forest here is quite a sad thing, since the woodlands of this area used to be some of the most majestic prior to being entirely converted to agriculture.

The migration of Indigo Bunting is one of our favorite examples and the STEM models really show it quite well. In late March and April the species arrives on the Gulf Coast, after crossing directly from the Yucatan. A wedge of arriving buntings surges north through the Mississippi River Valley and spreads out from there over the course of almost 1.5 months, a rather protracted arrival when compared to other landbirds. Birds at the northern edge of their range in New England do not fill in their territories until late May. The fall movement heads south back across and around the Gulf of Mexico primarily during October.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this bird.

Bernie Dischinger
4/2/2017

Location: Plymouth Minnesota

Just happened to see him this afternoon thought it was way early.


AftonAnn
8/19/2016

Location: Prairie/Forest Edge and feeder Afton, MN


Bill and Lisa Wiseman
7/10/2016

Location: Lakeville, MN

on feeder, mixed seed


Darwin and Karen
6/2/2016

Location: Prinsburg, MN

first time seeing one. Was on the thistle feeder


Steve S
5/10/2016

Location: Chanhassen, MN

I have not observed an Indigo Bunting at our feeder before. These are supposedly common in eastern US but I did not notice them in our yard before today.


Rana
4/27/2016

Location: South Minneapolis backyard feeder


Jackie
4/24/2016

Location: Vicksburg, MS

I have seen four on my back patio.


Greg & Deb Swenson
7/6/2015

Location: Gaylord MN

Spotted on our yard north or town


Andrew
5/24/2015

Location: Little Falls, MN

Hi, today my father spotted an indigo bunting in Little Falls, MN


Pond watchers
5/18/2015

Location: Plymouth, MN


Nanette Hartman
5/11/2015

Location: my bird feeder Green Isle, MN

never seen them at my feeder before.


Patty & Don Wajda
7/15/2014

Location: Backyard NE Minneapolis around 8 pm

wow


Boyd Herdendorf
5/12/2014

Location: Fridley, Mn.

Spotted at the bird feeder on the back deck.


16512466812
5/8/2014

Location: Osceola, Wisconsin


Bill Reynolds
5/22/2011

 

Indigo Bunting


     
     
 

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